San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) has reportedly vetoed an ordinance
that would have prohibited restaurants from offering toy giveaways in
children’s meals deemed too high in calories, salt or fat. Approved in an 8-to-3
vote on November 2, 2010, by the city’s Board of Supervisors, the ordinance
has the minimum amount of support needed to override the veto, an action
which apparently has not yet been scheduled. The ordinance was discussed in
Issue 371 of this Update.

Announcing the veto on November 12, Newsom called the legislation an
“intrusive and ineffective approach” to combat childhood obesity. “Parents,
not politicians, should decide what their children eat, especially when it
comes to spending their own money,” he said in a statement. “Despite its good
intentions, I cannot support this unwise and unprecedented government
intrusion into parental responsibilities and private choices.”

According to the California Restaurant Association, the legislation may face
a legal challenge if it becomes law. “The legality of this ordinance is an open
question, but a final decision has not yet been made regarding a lawsuit,” an
association spokesperson told a news source. See Mayor Gavin Newsom Press
Release, November 12, 2010; The San Francisco Chronicle, November 13, 2010.

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.